Last call

• Ramirez took early batting practice and participated in more running drills at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon and remains on track to return to the middle of the Brewers' lineup by the middle of next week, Roenicke said.

"The at-bats are no problem right now," Roenicke said. "It's just the running, stopping, cutting, and the last thing is the sliding. When he comes back, we'll try to keep him away from sliding if we can. I don't even want him to practice it. I'd rather, in a game, just try not to do it, and if you have to, you have to."

Ramirez sprained his knee during Spring Training and again during the first week of the regular season on slides into second base.

• Outfielder Ryan Braun hosted teammates, coaches, staff and their families at his oceanside home on Thursday afternoon for an off-day barbecue. The mood was upbeat, considering the team had won nine of its last 10 games.

"It was a lot of fun," Braun said. "It's always nice to see everyone in a different environment, away from the ballpark. It was good."

• Braun was thrilled, but not surprised, to see good buddy Aaron Rodgers get a five-year, $110 million contract extension from the Green Bay Packers on Friday. Rogers visited Miller Park a week earlier and told Braun the broad outlines of the deal had been place for several weeks.

• Right-hander Marco Estrada said he grew up 15 minutes from Dodger Stadium and went to dozens of games as a kid, but has never pitched here. Once again, he missed the series this year, having pitched Wednesday in San Diego.

"Someday," Estrada said.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.